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Israir Becomes First Israeli Airline to Land Commercial Flight into Dubai

Israir Becomes First Israeli Airline to Land Commercial Flight into Dubai

Israir has become the first Israeli airline to operate a commercial flight to Dubai, landing at Dubai International Airport (DXB) at just after 5 pm on Tuesday, December 1 following a flight that took just over three hours. Israir flight 6H333 arrived in the emirate with 166 passengers onboard the Airbus A320 aircraft. The airline hopes to operate 14 flights between Tel Aviv and Dubai every week.

The flight went ahead after receiving permission from Saudi Arabian authorities to fly through the country’s air space just hours before departure. While Saudi Arabia said earlier this year that it would allow any airline to use its air space if flying to Dubai, officials never explicitly mentioned Israel which unnerved Israeli airlines.

The new route between Tel Aviv and Dubai comes just months after Israel and the UAE agreed to formalise diplomatic relations for the first time. The two countries signed the Abraham Accord at a ceremony at the White House in Washington DC on September 15 and several weeks later an air services agreement had been thrashed out.

The UAE’s flydubai has already started operating flights between the two cities after the first regularly scheduled commercial flight from Dubai to Tel Aviv landed on November 26. Etihad Airways and Israel’s El Al also plan to operate direct flights linking Tel Aviv with Abu Dhabi.

“Israir’s inaugural flight is part of a broader engagement between the UAE and Israel to further peace, dialogue and stability and promote sustainable development,” a statement from the Dubai Media Office explained. “The engagement has resulted in organisations of both countries commencing new economic and trade partnerships across sectors.”

Dubai is hoping to see an uptick in passengers over the coming weeks as the holiday season fast approaches but the COVID-19 pandemic might upend those plans yet again. Following a rise in reported cases in the UAE, health officials in Israel after considering adding the country to its Red List of high-risk countries.

Passengers arriving in Israel from Red List destinations must self-isolate for 14-days in order to prevent the potential spread of the virus.

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